Vange Hill was once a Plotlands site and has now become an Local Nature Reserve of grassland and scrub woodland. The site is surrounded by a large drainage ditch built to prevent Vange from flooding, it has become an important wildlife habitat.
The site boasts commanding views across the South Essex marshes over the River Thames to Kent. This ridge of hills which run east-west along the south of Essex are known as the 'Thames Terraces'. They were formed many thousands of years ago by the river Thames.
The soils are free draining, the slopes south facing and therefore warm and dry. Thames Terrace grasslands form a very important habitat of regional significance as they hold rare assemblages of plants and invertebrates.
Since the year 2000 the mowing of much of the grassland at this site has been relaxed and cut as an annual autumn hay cut.
This type of management will allow rare plants such as Pale Flax to flourish. Butterflies and Bumblebees will also benefit.
The open paths criss cross the site, but are unsuitable for wheelchair users at the present.
Vange Hill Local Nature Reserve can be accessed from Vange Hill Drive, Mapleford Sweep and Mountview Close.
Opening times: Open access - all day every day!
Phone: 01277 624553 or 01268 208090 (Countryside Services)
Nearest Train Station: Basildon or Pitsea - approximately. 2 mile
Buses: 2, 15, 15A, 22, 35A, 42, 375, 721, 723.